18.344 Reading at Risk?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 10:56:49 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 344.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2004 10:49:48 +0000
         From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mgk_at_umd.edu>
         Subject: Reading at Risk? A Panel Discussion

For anyone in the Washington DC area:

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2:00-3:45, room 6137, McKeldin Library UMCP

Released in July of this year, the National Endowment for the Arts'
"Reading at Risk" report garnered widespread attention for its dramatic and
troubling findings, chief among which were that there has been a documented
10% national decline in "literary reading" since 1982, with the drop-off
even more precipitous among younger age groups. (The report is available in
its entirety online at: http://www.nea.gov/pub/ReadingAtRisk.pdf). These
findings are surely of concern to anyone who cares about the future of
reading and a literate populace. But what is reading in the current day and
age? What can we learn from the history of media change, where previous
moments of technological transition have been accompanied by similar
expressions of anxiety and concern? Or are we truly facing an uprecedented
shift in what and how and why we read? What are the implications for
education? The arts? Public policy and civics?

Join us on Thursday, November 18th, 2:00-3:45, in the McKeldin Library
Special Events Room (#6137), University of Maryland, College Park for a
discussion of this issue, featuring a number of distinguished speakers from
the College Park campus and beyond:

MARK BAUERLEIN, Director of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment
for the Arts. He is also Professor of English at Emory University. He has
written many books and articles on American literature, history, and
philosophy, and his commentaries and reviews have appeared in Wall Street
Journal, The Weekly Standard, TLS, Yale Review, Chronicle of Higher
Education, and many other national periodicals.

MICHAEL COLLIER, Professor of English and Co-Director of Creative Writing
at UMCP, and former Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland. Professor
Collier is the author of several books and collections, and over 100
published poems.

LISA GITELMAN, Associate Professor of English and Director of Media Studies
at Catholic University. Professor Gitelman is the author of Scripts,
Grooves, and Writing Machines (Stanford UP, 1999) and co-editor of New
Media 1740-1915 (MIT Press, 2003).

SHIRLEY LOGAN, Associate Professor of English at UMCP and former Chair of
the Conference on College Composition and Communication (the 4Cs). She is
the author of We Are Coming: The Persuasive Discourse of Nineteenth-Century
Black Women (Southern Illinois, 1999) and co-editor of many other books.

CLIFFORD LYNCH, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information. He is
a past president of the American Society for Information Science and a
fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the
National Information Standards Organization.

NICK MONTFORT, co-editor of the New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003) and
author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interfactive Fiction (MIT
Press, 2004). Currently a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the
University of Pennsylvania, Montfort is also a highly-regarded writer of
interactive fiction.

The panel will be moderated by MATTHEW KIRSCHENBAUM, Assistant Professor of
English at UMCP. It is intended to be of broad topical interest to a
diverse and interdisciplinary audience. Free and open to the public; entire
classes welcome.

Sponsored by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
and the Department of English. Please contact Matt Kirschenbaum (mgk "at"
umd "dot" edu) with questions.
Received on Tue Nov 09 2004 - 16:48:51 EST

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